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2024 Presidential Election: The GOP starts their primary debates

Currently, lots of attention has been directed to Milwakuee, Wisconsin as the first Republican primary debate was held on August 23, 2023. While there are currently 13 Republican candidates running for president in the 2024 election, only 9 of them qualified for the first primary debate. However, Donald Trump declared, 3 days before the debate, that he would not be attending, largely due to his front running title. It has also yet to be confirmed if he plans to attend any of the primary debates. The 8 qualifying and attending candidates were: Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum, and Asa Hutchinson. The candidates tackled some contentious issues like Donald Trump’s legal matters, funding to Ukraine, and the current status of abortion rights. Now that the debates have kicked off, which of these candidates currently look the strongest? In a study conducted by Morning Consult, over 3,000 potential Republican primary voters were surveyed in order to see which candidate is currently holding their vote. Front runner and former president Donald Trump currently holds 60% of the votes despite his current legal troubles. Currently, the allegations against him consist of 7 broken laws and 37 felony accounts. Yet, Donald Trump has been successful throughout his life as being elected president without much political experience and having owned his father’s former real estate company, the Trump Organization, which he took over in 1971. In November of 2022, Donald announced his campaign for the 2024 presidential election.

Furthermore, ranked second highest, Ron DeSantis takes 15% of the votes. The 44 year-old man joined the United States Navy where he served for 6 years. Then, in 2010 DeSantis left and joined the reserves as he continued to successfully expand his political career as a member in the House of Representatives from 2013-2018. Only 4 months later, Ron DeSantis was elected the Governor of Florida and is still currently serving. In regards to his views, this year Ron has extended his 2022 Parental Rights in Education Acts bill, led Florida to being the 26th state to have constitutional carry, and signed a bill which states that abortions are restricted in the state once there is a heartbeat. In May of 2023, Ron announced his campaign for the 2024 presidential election.

Following that, a shocking 8% of the votes go to Vivek Ramaswamy, actually known as a successful engineer. Not only did Ramaswamy graduate from Harvard in 2007 with an undergraduate degree in biology, but then he went on to graduate Yale with a law degree. According to, “. . .he founded Roivant Sciences in 2014 and led the largest biotech IPOs of 2015 and 2016, eventually culminating in successful clinical trials in multiple disease areas that led to FDA-approved products.” The New York Times bestselling author announced his campaign in February of 2023 for the 2024 presidential election.

Behind the top 3 candidates are Mike Pence (6%), Nikki Haley (5%), Chris Christie (3%), Tim Scott (2%), Asa Hutchinson (1%), and Doug Burgum/Will Hurd not holding even a percent of the votes. The Republican Party is in for a race this election season, as the Democratic Party only has 3 current runners and another individual as a third party. At the moment, the second presidential debate will be held on September 27th, and only 6 of the 8 competing candidates have made the cut. However, we are still over a year away from the election, so stay informed.

Breeley Moll, Bentonville, 10th Grade, Instagram- @breeley0212

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